Ethics in the construction industry: the prospects for a single professional code

Ethics in the construction industry: the prospects for a single professional code Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to consider the potential for generating improved levels of ethical conduct within the construction industry through the introduction of a single industry‐wide professional code. Design/methodology/approach – The Society of Construction Law's Statement of Ethical Principles (the Code) is used as a model. The paper consists of a detailed critical analysis of the Code which it places within the context of previous studies, internationally, on the role of unethical conduct within the industry, and of the role that criminal sanctions can play in addressing this. Findings – The paper concludes that a single industry‐wide code has a contribution to make in improving the ethical standards of conduct within the industry. However, ethical improvement can ultimately only be delivered by reducing the numbers of situations where industry participants consider it necessary to seek an advantage at someone else's expense. Other measures – in particular an increase in the incidence of longer term relationships and collaborative working – are also likely to play an equally important role. Originality/value – The paper provides a new interpretation of existing sources on business and professional ethics and offers new insights into the topic area by emphasising its relationship with collaborative working. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Law in the Built Environment Emerald Publishing

Ethics in the construction industry: the prospects for a single professional code

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2009 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1756-1450
DOI
10.1108/17561450911001252
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to consider the potential for generating improved levels of ethical conduct within the construction industry through the introduction of a single industry‐wide professional code. Design/methodology/approach – The Society of Construction Law's Statement of Ethical Principles (the Code) is used as a model. The paper consists of a detailed critical analysis of the Code which it places within the context of previous studies, internationally, on the role of unethical conduct within the industry, and of the role that criminal sanctions can play in addressing this. Findings – The paper concludes that a single industry‐wide code has a contribution to make in improving the ethical standards of conduct within the industry. However, ethical improvement can ultimately only be delivered by reducing the numbers of situations where industry participants consider it necessary to seek an advantage at someone else's expense. Other measures – in particular an increase in the incidence of longer term relationships and collaborative working – are also likely to play an equally important role. Originality/value – The paper provides a new interpretation of existing sources on business and professional ethics and offers new insights into the topic area by emphasising its relationship with collaborative working.

Journal

International Journal of Law in the Built EnvironmentEmerald Publishing

Published: Oct 2, 2009

Keywords: Construction industry; United Kingdom; Professional ethics

References

  • Professional ethics and the culture of trust
    Brien, A.

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